Neil Schon (born February 27, 1954) was the lead guitarist for a group whom I consider one of the greatest to ever step on a stage, namely Journey. He is Journey's only constant member, having participated in every album and tour to date. Before joining Journey, he was a member of Santana. Interestingly, shortly after Santana asked him to join his band, Eric Clapton invited him to join Derek and the Dominos. He declined because he’d committed to Santana.
Schon was born at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. His father was an accomplished musician, arranger, and composer who played and taught reed instruments while his mother was a big band singer. Schon was a guitar prodigy, who first picked up the guitar at the age of 5 and at the tender age of 15 joined Santana.
Schon is without a doubt one of the most soulful guitarists and the selections below illustrate both his rocking and soft sides. His leads are some of the most tasteful ever played by a rock guitarist. Journey’s recordings sometimes lull the listener into thinking he’s just a filler for the vocalist, but if you ever saw them in concert you know Neil is one heck of a guitarist.
The Calling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVvWxiP4_xs
Prayer for Peace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQBM1QfoJxw
Stone in love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jsjbbGHwnM
Who’s cryin now solo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjN3OY94Oqc
I can’t make you love me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyTWz07ALZI
Walkin out the door: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSvpwSqYqpE&playnext=1&list=PLPeXPYrcEc5x2q0LMt5tnqKVMAlaSDBMB&feature=results_video
Late Night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y45h5pBM7L0
Rain’s comin down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNIcNUh40zo
Killing me softly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekE_2E5o3Vg
Everything I do, I do it all for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMrKXeHz-co
No more lies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cfcGGo6ecs
Call of the Wild: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7IK_NeXfcM
Don’t stop believing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcjzHMhBtf0
Pairing Neil with a wine calls for something powerful, so continuing my search for great but cheap, I recommend the 2010 Chateau St. Jean Signature Red. The wine is made from just about every grape that could go into a red including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Malbec. It’s a very affordable ($9.00 on sale) yet delicious wine. The nose is explosive with aromas of blackberries, strawberries, currents, and spice. It’s a symphony for the palate with big black fruit, cherry, and chocolate notes that seem to go on forever. What ever your favorite red, it’s in this wine and the result is spectacular. And at $9.00 a bottle plus the music of Neil Schon, it makes for a great week end. Enjoy!